A just-about-perfect L.A. weekend is now over. Stir a little extra Hazelnut Coffee Mate into your World's Sexiest Assistant mug, and bite absentmindedly into some raspberry-jelly-filled box office numbers. We'll get through this:
1. The Incredible Hulk - $54.538 million
For first reactions to The Incredible Hulk—Universal's attempt at "rebootting" the Freakishly Betrapezoided One's franchise—we defer to non other than Hulk-fan-on-the-street Dante Reno. Approached by Variety for comment, Reno proudly gestured to the area of his brain once designated for foreign languages, which, after two punishing hours of Dolby Digital Cinema Smaaaash™ effects, had now solidified into a useless clump of scar tissue. Still, that smile, and the words, "Aw, dude it was awesome," suggests to us that it was all worth it. Hulk back. Hulk smash. Hulk good.
2. Kung Fu Panda - $34.321 million
Crossing the $100 million divide this weekend was DreamWork's literal-minded Kung Fu Panda, in which ancient Asian fighting techniques named for animals were transformed into an adorable CGI menagerie of martial arts masters. It's a clever conceit that will be used to lesser success in direct-to-DVD companion title Yoga Cow, featuring the voice talents of Larry the Cable Guy as Downward Facing Dog and Cameron Diaz as Squatting Fish-Lotus.
3. The Happening - $30.5 million
Manoj laughs last, as what was sure to be his Lady in the Water bellyflop follow-up—a woodenly paced arborcidal thriller promptly tossed by critics into the chipper— wound up bringing in a very respectable $30.5 million from horror fans looking for some Friday the 13th thrills. (They got some, plus Mark Wahlberg "placating a ficus.") Having established his bankability once more, there's virtually no limits on where director M. Night Shyamalan's imagination might take us next—perhaps a religious allegory set in rural Pennsylvania, where a film critics' convention threatens the very fate of the Shrimphrogs, an ancient race of clog-dancing extraterrestrial amphibia. (With, of course, a cameo by the director as the NASA scientist who first discovers their existence.)
5. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - $13.547 million
Want even more Jones excitement? Stay tuned for the further adventures of franchise inheritor Greaser LaBeouf, in...Mutt Williams and the 'Slap Me Harder, Faggot!'. SUMMER 2012.